It’s a question anyone who grew up in the 80s has always wondered.
Streets, fields and in particular alleyways in housing estates, it would appear every now and then, standing out among the other piles of mess.
How? Who? Why?
Was someone going around spray painting it? Were these dogs living off non-toxic chalk?
Well, it’s got us thinking. What else seems to have been confined to the colourful decade?
1) Mixed tapes: Forget downloading music, or even burning it to a CD. These were primitive days. The only ways to share music back in the 80s was through blank cassettes, usually TDK or Scotch of 60 or 90 minutes in length.
Even then, to transfer tunes from one tape to another you needed a twin-deck recorder, and had to press play and play/record on both decks at the same time. Hands’ on stuff. However, life would come to a temporary end if your beloved cassette became unravelled in the player, and a Biro was needed to twist it back into the case, which could take up to about four hours.
2) Unpicked ties: In either a statement of fashion or rebellion, school ties would be shortened to the size of a dicky bow. Why? We all seemed to did it. Variations included having the thin end at the front, various knot sizes, or even picking the stitches from the pattern with a compass. We were easily amused back in the 80s.
3) The Broom Cupboard: Kids don’t know how good they have it today with their 24-hour cartoon channels. Back in the day, we had to wait for the BBC’s Broom Cupboard to start shortly before 4pm on weekday evenings. Super Ted, Dogtanian, Rent-a-Ghost, Cities of Gold, Johnny Briggs, Blue Peter and the gritty Grange Hill were staples. Imagine trying to weave heroin addiction into a kids’ programme today?
4) Stranger Danger: Every year or so, the jolly bobby from the local police station would come to school to talk to you about the dangers of strangers, accepting sweets from them, or going to see their puppies. Then you’d see an awful video about a stranger enticing a young boy away. The message was hard hitting, but the acting was simply criminal. Then there was the ‘Say No to Strangers’ song to learn. Dear me, I got the message with the video.
5) The Mullet: The haircut that defined a decade. Long at the back but short at the sides, it seemed to creep in from West Germany to infiltrate a British generation. It never looked good, at any stage, no matter what people might think, and that included England winger Chris Waddle.